Your vacation is here!
You have waited months, if not years, and watched them turn to weeks and then days. You are now down to the final few hours; the smells of a freshly made pastry at a French bakery consumes you. You awaken from your gaze to realize you’re at the airport bakery kiosk with a lengthy layover.
How could this be?
The short, simple answer is: timing.
The goal of any Tour company is to minimalize the time spent in airports and maximize the enjoyment of your adventure when you arrive. That is why having everyone arrive at or near the same time is crucial.
For some that means your flight to your European destination will be non-stop, others a required 4 hours, while few will see a lengthier transfer. Even though you may have the perfect schedule, turmoil with the weather, mechanical issues, or unforeseen problems can cause longer than expected waits.
What in the world am I to do?
Well, international airports tend to be the size of small towns, and have many of the same features. Here are just a few ideas to pass the time:
Eat. Drink. Be merry!
Airport food has come a long way. Most International airports will have an extensive variety well beyond McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.
For instance, JFK in New York has the famous Shake Shack! O’Hare in Chicago serves up Johnny Rockets and the Wolfgang Puck Café. Washington Dulles, Atlanta, and LaGuardia will delight with Five Guys. If you think you might need a refreshing drink before getting on the flight in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, or Newark head over to Jamba Juice for a smoothie or a juice made with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Next, take a stroll throughout the airport. There are now walking paths designed for you in Cleveland, Dallas, Chicago and Denver, to name a few. Along the way these airports have art work and interactive displays for your enjoyment. Denver has set the bar high with a permanent art collection throughout the airport as well as temporary exhibitions for your enjoyment.
Now that you’ve made it back to your terminal and found a seat it’s time to relax, or take a nap. If your choice is relaxation, a majority of your layovers will be in big cities, with big name celebrities, so keep an eye out.
‘People watching’ is a hobby of mine. Remember the comedian, Sinbad? He was on my last flight from Denver to Los Angeles. Years ago Serena Williams walked by during the week of the US Open in New York City’s LaGuardia. You just never know. Make it a game with the person you are traveling with.
As the excitement of celebrity sight-seeing comes to an end there is nothing better to finish off the final hour with a good game of Angry Birds or Candy Crush (don’t forget your power cord at home!). Bring a good book if the internet is not your cup of tea. Not into reading? Take a pack of cards. Play a solo game of Solitaire or a fine game of Gin Rummy with those you are with.
As you can see a lengthy layover does not have to be a disappointment. Take advantage of what your airport has to offer and make it an adventure. You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised how fast time can fly!